Texas is shooting donkeys, stirring burro backlash

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posted on Oct, 31 2011 @ 09:40 AM
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news.yahoo.com...
I wasn't really sure where to put this, but regardless of where it belongs, it should make you upset. I realize that there are some things that have to be done, but I just can't see the logic behind this.


Unofficially, the state of Texas celebrates donkeys and their historical and cultural significance in shaping the American West. Officially? The policy on wild burros out here is shoot to kill. Texas park rangers are trying to wipe out hundreds of free-roaming donkeys in Big Bend State Park, killing nearly 130 to date with .308-caliber bolt-action rifles on this side of the Rio Grande. But in the process, the shootings are stirring a whole new kind of cross-border controversy, pitting state officials against burro-lovers who believe the animal holds a special place in history and deserves protection.




The state's stance: wild donkeys wandering over from Mexico simply don't belong. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department considers an estimated 300 burros in Big Bend to be destructive intruders, hogging forage and lapping up precious water in the drought-starved mountains — thereby threatening the survival of hundreds of native species. Outraged locals, however, claim there's only one animal the state is really cares about — bighorn sheep. "They say we're doing this just so four rich white guys can hunt bighorn sheep out here," said David Riskind, director of natural resources for the parks agency. "That's just not true." Once extinct in Texas for decades, bighorns made a heralded homecoming to Big Bend last year when a herd of nearly four dozen was relocated to the 316,000-acre range. But even that's not big enough for what the state says are foreign burros and the native bighorns.



Skeptics suspect the state's stance is all a wink to wealthy and well-connected hunters. Coveted state permits to bag bighorns fetch upward of $100,000 at auction in Texas, and opponents like Margaret Farabee of the of the Wild Burro Protection League believe that's why the state wants to eliminate any threat to the sheep's survival so the bighorn hunters can one day return to Big Bend




Luis Armenderiz, the former Big Bend supervisor who retired following the initial controversy, said the burros are no more destructive to the park than humans who put in bike trails. "We are invading their ecosystem. They're not invading ours," Armenderiz said. Shooting wild animals doesn't generally create much of a stir in Texas, where hunting is a celebrated pastime. A year ago, Gov. Rick Perry famously paused from a morning jog to take aim at a coyote. This past summer, state lawmakers made gunning down feral hogs from helicopters legal.





But their biggest ally may be history. In 2007, a similar uproar caused the state to temporarily suspend its first foray into "lethal control" after parks rangers killed 71 wild burros. Luis Armenderiz, the former Big Bend supervisor who retired following the initial controversy, said the burros are no more destructive to the park than humans who put in bike trails. "We are invading their ecosystem. They're not invading ours," Armenderiz said. Shooting wild animals doesn't generally create much of a stir in Texas, where hunting is a celebrated pastime. A year ago, Gov. Rick Perry famously paused from a morning jog to take aim at a coyote. This past summer, state lawmakers made gunning down feral hogs from helicopters legal. No one sticks up for the ugly, rooting, beastly feral hog. So why the burro backlash? "They're charismatic," Riskind said. Opponents say the reasons are cultural. Donkeys did the dirty work of hauling supplies during America's westward expansion in the 1800s, and here along the border, families owned burros like households today have dogs. When the peso was weak, Mexican families strapped American-bought microwaves to their burro's backs to haul across the Rio Grande.


Now, I just have to say that I do believe in conservation, and that fact that sometimes invasive species have to be dealt with to protect the ecology of a particular region. However, I believe that there are also alternatives to this as well, such as adoption programs, relocation, and fences. I don't think its really necessary to kill these animals, and I agree that this appears to be another example of catering to the rich so that they can go on these hunts to kill the bighorn sheep. The impact these burros have is no worse than the impact that man is making on the ecosystem, or no worse than than the feral hogs that are much more destructive to crops, vegetation, such. So, what do you think?
edit on 31-10-2011 by Veritas1 because: (no reason given)
edit on 31-10-2011 by Veritas1 because: (no reason given)
edit on 31-10-2011 by Veritas1 because: (no reason given)
edit on 31-10-2011 by Veritas1 because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 31 2011 @ 10:04 AM
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Poor ugly horses.
I don't see how they would disturb the ecosystem though?



posted on Oct, 31 2011 @ 10:11 AM
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First, it amazes me that they can track and stop burros from crossing the border, but not illegals.

Secondly, I do believe that they are trying to wipe out the burros to have more water and room for bighorn sheep, because of all the hunters out here. There's a lot of money to be made suckering hunters in just so they can shoot off their large caliber, expensive weaponry.

For example, where we live (TX / NM border), there are a lot of prairie dogs. There is a bozo based out of Abilene who advertises that, for $300 a day, he will take hunters day hunting into prairie dog towns. He claims he owns the land, and his price only covers the expense of taking them to the hunting site, they have to get there, bring their own booze, etc.

This bozo had been around our area asking permission to bring hunters to shoot prairie dogs. So, right off the bat he is falsely advertising on his website. He showed up at our place but we told him no. Anyway, the landowner next to us did give permission because he doesn't live there. These idiots showed up with 50 caliber rifles to shoot tiny little prairie dogs. They sat out in the heat on the side of the road under a little tent, drinking beer and shooting bullets way too large for little rodents. It sounded like we were living the middle east. Bullets were whizzing over our house and my husband had to go over there twice to ask them to stop shooting in the direction of our home. They were just shooting at the dirt, as you know that once the firing began, the prairie dogs disappeared into their holes and didn't come out again.

After they had been out there for hours, and no doubt three sheets to the wind, one of those dummies started firing at birds flying by the electric poles. He shot one of the large wires in half, which then hit the ground and started a grass fire, which almost burned our house down. Naturally they packed up and ran away as soon as they saw the flames, not even bothering to call the fire dept.

My point to this rant? Those hunters can go fornicate themselves with an iron stick. There is nothing noble or adventuresome about hunting innocent creatures with large firearms when you are drunk and stupid. I think, if you are not hunting for food, it is immoral and sick.

Leave the burros alone!! The hunting business employs a relatively small amount of people anyway. Big Bend is an oasis in the desert so naturally all animals would gravitate towards it. Let natural selection sort them out.





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